Britain holds back £21m Rwanda aid over 'compelling reports' of aid for DRC rebels
Britain is to withhold £21m of aid to the government of Rwanda after accepting “compelling reports” that the country is supporting rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The move comes just three months after the former International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, controversially reinstated £8m of direct budgetary support to Rwanda on his last day in the job.
Mr Mitchell, who had long-standing links to the government of President Paul Kagame, argued that he had reinstated the aid because the Rwandan government had met three conditions set down by the United Kingdom.
But his successor, Justine Greening, said today that the next payment of money, due to be paid this month, would not be released because the Kagame regime had breached the agreements.
“The Government has already set out its concerns over credible and compelling reports of Rwandan involvement with M23 in DRC,” she said. “This evidence constitutes a breach of the partnership principles set out in the Memorandum of Understanding and, as a result, I have decided not to release the next payment of budget support to Rwanda.”
Violence in DRC has been increasing, with reports of summary executions by the rebel M23 group and growing numbers of refugees.
The UK suspended the last tranche of £16m of aid in July after an interim UN report highlighted Rwanda’s role in backing the insurgents. Pressure to halt the aid payments again intensified earlier last month when UN experts presented more evidence of Rwanda’s involvement in fuelling the conflict.
Ms Greening also said today that DFID will provide a further £18m of immediate humanitarian support in the DRC, providing emergency food for 100,000 people, clean water and education.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman denied that the decision to reinstate aid in September had been a mistake.
“We stand by the decision that we made to release the last tranche of funding,” he said.
Meanwhile, the International Development Select Committee said aid to Rwanda should in future go through non-government channels.
The cross-party group of MPs also said they “did not understand” why Mr Mitchell concluded that the state was no longer supporting the M23.
“Mr Mitchell has assured us that he carried out extensive consultations within the UK Government and with the government of Rwanda before making his decision,” they said.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...